Think about it. Don’t you want to know how you benefit from making a purchase before plunking down your hard earned cash? Of course you do. It’s no different for the buyer reading your newsletter or sitting across the negotiation table from you. Buyers want to know what’s in it for them if they buy what you have to sell. The message that you choose to send them will either engage them or cause them to bolt for the door.
Here’s the thing…
We are living in an age of what many innovation experts have described as “disruption”. And no where do I see more needed disruption than in sales organizations. Now that social technologies are forces to be reckoned with, today’s social sales people must break free of their comfort zones and fundamentally re-think what they believe they know about the business of selling. Heading the list is the idea that not every deal needs to take place face-to-face.
Enter social media…
The shift from old school sales, which largely made the seller’s agenda the focal point, to a new social sales model that puts the buyers in control will take time. The savvy sales people though will move quickly to adapt. Similar to when we moved from an agrarian society to an industrial one, sales professionals are faced with a similar transition that can feel bumpy at times. Remember when the desktop computer entered the scene? I know plenty of sales folks who said they’d never use one. Do I need to say more? Unfortunately, as with all transitions, some will struggle with this disruption more than others.
Business owners and sales people must consider how this disruption changes the way they approach the sales process and devise strategies for addressing it. How you get attention with your potential customers when they are so overwhelmed with choices will all start with creating “value” in a virtual world with people you may never actually meet. Creating online relationships that will lead to closing sales is going to require that 3 things happen:
- You have plan and purpose for what you are doing.
- You choose the right tool(s) to support your sales goals.
- You learn and use the tools consistently day in and day out.
As you begin to join in on group and online community discussions like you’ll find on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, you will have to understand that you don’t “sell” while joining in on the conversation. Instead of talking about what you or your product does; you will be demonstrating your expertise and industry knowledge as you share your tips, advice, information and helpful hints with others without expecting anything in return.
How sales people uncover opportunities, research trends, keep on top of their competition and network completely changes the way the game is played. But they must also be realistic in their expectations, because social media is not a “quick fix” nor does it bring sales in the door overnight. Like great offline selling, it takes time to build the relationships that lead to closing business. When you remember to put the buyer’s needs and wants ahead of yours…well, now you’re getting somewhere.
This is the world of social selling and your potential client wants you to know…
Hey, it’s all about me!